UIEtips: Social Tagging and the Enterprise – Does Tagging Work at Work?

Jared Spool

March 1st, 2010

Tagging has been around for more than 8 years. The technique, also called folksonomy, is simple: users apply their own words or phrases to content they uncover, leaving a trail back for themselves and for future content seekers. Each tag conveys meaning, giving a path to discovering new content that traditional navigation can’t.

Since their inception, we’ve seen some excellent implementations and some disastrous ones. The excellent implementations quickly lead users to the content they seek, and help discover items they didn’t know existed or wouldn’t have found otherwise. When implemented poorly, the tags just confuse the users and clutter the interface, not adding any value or meaning.

In this issue of UIEtips, Stephanie Lemieux explores what tagging might look like inside of the enterprise firewall. How does it work when we’re applying tags to serious business content? If you’re wondered whether there are benefits to a folksonomy on an intranet, you’ll want to read her article.

Read the article Social Tagging and the Enterprise—Does Tagging Work at Work?

Stephanie is taking tagging further, exploring the implementation patterns for both public-facing sites and enterprise content, in her upcoming UIE Virtual Seminar, Tagging with Folksonomies in a Taxonomy World. Learn more about the March 10 webinar and Stephanie’s insights and ideas for successful implementations.

Get the details on Tagging with Folksonomies in a Taxonomy World.

Have you explored tagging within your organization? What have you found that works? What should others avoid? We’d love to hear your experiences below.

One Response to “UIEtips: Social Tagging and the Enterprise – Does Tagging Work at Work?”

  1. Larry Irons Says:

    It really comes down to the difference between tagging for collective understanding and tagging for collaborative understanding in the Long Tail. As I noted in a post a couple of years ago in a post on Thomas Vander Wal’s distinction between collective and collaborative understanding:

    “The value of a collective understanding, such as folksonomy, is that it aggregates across what Chris Anderson calls The Long Tail with little to no bias towards the tall end, what Chris refers to as the short head, since people are not second guessing their concept of the object they tag; they aren’t “fitting” their tag to the understandings of others, or how others value the object…

    Alternatively, collaborative understanding, where the person doing the tagging does so while keeping the fit of their tags to the tags of others in mind, biases the aggregation process towards the short head of the long tail in relation to the value of the idea or concept of the object…The importance of the distinction, as Thomas clearly sees, is in its overall relationship and use by organizations, especially those attempting to implement Enterprise 2.0.”


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